The National, Wednesday October 23rd, 2013
THE Government has been urged to do more in promoting agriculture.
Country Party president Nelson Duwabane said the Government was focused on getting the basics right in terms of rural transport, communication, law and order and other economic and social infrastructure to support agriculture. But he said the Bank of PNG, World Bank and Asian Development Bank were saying that investment in agriculture and livestock and rural industries was negligible.
Duwabane said agriculture and rural sector-based enterprises would improve and sustain the lives of the rural population.
“Agriculture underpins the backbone of the country,” he said.
Duwabane said the party had two MPs who signed the Alotau Accord.
“Our policies are to provide people with affordable locally-produced food, provide income and employment, earning opportunities and mitigate poverty, and build a stronger society and economy,” he said.
“Prior to and after Independence until the early 1990s, PNG relied on the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and livestock sectors to develop the country and prop up the economy.
“We have 97% of land customary-owned and 80% of people rely on that land and agriculture.
“This is the strength of our society and economy that will provide for the people and reduce the high cost of living pressures that face our working class people and our rural families.
“This means we have to support agriculture and rural business and the industries that build PNG to where it is today.
“Our people have been growing kaukau, tapioca, yam, taro, banana and introduced crops and tree crops like coffee, coconut, cocoa, tea, rubber without tax holidays, freight subsidy, import tax and other tax exemptions.”